Open Access Peer-reviewed

Role of Serum Trace Elements in Oral Precancer and Oral Cancer - a Biochemical Study

Shishir Ram Shetty1,, Subhas Babu1, Suchetha Kumari2, Pushparaja Shetty3, Shruthi Hegde1, Arvind Karikal4

1Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, AB Shetty memorial Institute of Dental Science, Nitte University, Mangalore, India

2Department of Biochemistry, KS Hegde Medical Academy Nitte University, Mangalore, India

3Department of Oral Pathology, AB Shetty memorial Institute of Dental Science Nitte University, Mangalore, India

4Department of Oral Surgery, AB Shetty memorial Institute of Dental Science Nitte University, Mangalore, India

Journal of Cancer Research and Treatment. 2013, 1(1), 1-3. DOI: 10.12691/jcrt-1-1-1
Published online: August 25, 2017


Several studies in recent years have linked association between micronutrient levels and various forms of cancer. Copper and Zinc have been the most researched micronutrients. The aim of the study was to evaluate the levels of Copper, Zinc and iron in serum of patients with Oral leukoplakia, Oral Submucous Fibrosis and oral Squamous cell carcinoma. There was a highly significant increase in the level of serum copper in Oral submucous fibrosis patients when compared to controls (p=0.001). Serum copper levels were also elevated in oral leukoplakia and oral cancer patients (p=0.01). There was a significant decrease in the serum zinc levels in all three study groups when compared to controls (p=0.001). A highly significant reduction in serum Iron levels was noticed oral submucous fibrosis group. The copper to zinc ratio significantly increased in all the study groups when compared to controls. Results suggest that serum copper and zinc as well as the copper to zinc ratio could be used as biomarkers for oral precancer and cancer.


serum, copper, zinc, ratio, iron
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